How to register a trademark in the UAE
Company incorporation in the UAE can be a complicated process. There are specific steps that must be followed and regulations that must be adhered to. Once a company has obtained a trade licence, processed the required visas, registered the company with the department of economic development and ensured compliance with all legal requirements, the subject of trademark acquisition becomes an important one to consider.
Some sectors and activities will also require the trademark to be registered as part of the company set-up process.
This article highlights some of the main benefits in registering the trademark for your company in the UAE and gives full details of how to obtain a UAE trademark, with steps, requirements, costs and timelines as well as other important considerations.
As a business owner, the hard work invested to build up a company’s profile and reputation is important to protect. A trademark is an effective way to do this.
What is a trademark?
The term trademark generally refers to a name, word, phrase, symbol or logo which serves to identify the origin of a product or service to a particular entity.
It is considered to be a form of intellectual property and once registered, it recognises ownership of the mark and grants rights of exclusivity to the owner in its use.
It is not only businesses that use trademarks. They are also used by non-profit organisations and religions to protect their identity and the goodwill associated with their name.
What are the benefits of trademark registration?
There is a perception that trademarks are only necessary for large, already well-established companies and while they have obvious benefits in this context, the value of a trademark to SME’s can often be overlooked.
- Protect your brand
They grant the owner exclusive rights to the product or service they provide and ensure third parties cannot sell goods or services under an identical or similar mark.
- Be sold
As you brand and company reputation grows, so too will the value of your trademark. Therefore, it is one of the most enduring business assets and can be used as a source of income for the rights owner or as a source of collateral to obtain a bank loan for other business ventures.
- Make hiring staff and retaining employees easier
Trademarks can engender confidence and trust in a brand which can in turn help to retain and attract employees.
- Build brand reputation and customer confidence
In a crowded marketplace, your trademark can create synonymity with your product and convey powerful messages about your brand. Over time, this can help you distinguish yourself from your competitors and build your brand’s reputation.
Considerations for UAE trademark registration
There are certain restrictions with trademark registration in the UAE. The trademark that you choose to register mustn’t:
- Offend public morals or negatively portray religious beliefs
- Mimic symbols or designs of existing organisations or charitable associations
- Contain names or titles of third parties
- Be translations of existing trademarks
Information on other restrictions or considerations regarding trademark selection can be found by visiting the trademark section of the UAE Ministry of Economy’s (MOE) website.
How to register a trademark in the UAE
The registration process can now be completed online on the MOE’s website. This has reduced the administrative paperwork that was previously required and the processing time to less than six months from the submission of the application to issuance of the trademark certificate. It now involves the following steps:
- Complete the online application on the MOE website
- Make the application payment
- The application will then be reviewed
- Once approved, make payment for the publication of the trademark in two local papers
- Make payment for the trademark registration
Once approval has been received and there is no objection to the proposed trademark, the trademark will be issued by the MOE together with the company details, registration number and the products and services that it includes. It is valid for ten years before renewal will be required.
What documents are required?
In order to proceed with the trademark application, you will require:
- A trademark logo
- A copy of your trade licence
- A Power of Attorney
- A copy of your passport
- A list of products/services that the trademark relates to
How much does trademark registration cost?
As acknowledgment of the difficult economic circumstances that we find ourselves in post Covid-19, the UAE Trademark Office has reduced the costs for trademark acquisition by 25 percent to 35 percent. This, and the implementation of their online registration process, is a welcomed move which will offer protection to intellectual property and counteract the difficulties that brand owners face as a result of the pandemic. The revised fees which took effect from 5 April 2020 are detailed below:
- Trademark search - AED 350
- Application – AED 750
- Publication – AED 750
- Registration – AED 5,000
- Renewal – AED 6,500
- Assignment – AED 2,000
- Change of name/address – AED 1,100
- Opposition – AED 7,500
- Hearing – AED 350
- Obtaining replacement certificate – AED 150
How can PRO Partner Group help?
At PRO Partner Group we have direct contact with government departments and can streamline the process of obtaining a trademark. We will be your primary point of communication and can liaise with all parties involved on your behalf.
If you need guidance on registering a trademark in the UAE or any other related company setup, restructuring, local partner or PRO support matter in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, the wider UAE, Oman, Qatar or KSA, then please do get in touch with us on +971 (0)4 456 1761 for Dubai or +971 (0)2 448 5120 for Abu Dhabi, email us at email@example.com or complete the contact form below and we will be delighted to assist you.